1972 CITROEN DS23
The Citroën DS is a front-engine, front-wheel-drive executive car that was manufactured and marketed by the French company Citroën from 1955 to 1975 in sedan, wagon/estate and convertible body configurations across three series/generations.
Noted for its aerodynamic, futuristic body design and innovative technology, the DS set new standards in ride quality, handling, and braking — the latter as the first mass production car equipped with disc brakes.
Italian sculptor and industrial designer Flaminio Bertoni and the French aeronautical engineer André Lefèbvre styled and engineered the car, and Paul Magès developed the hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension.
Citroën sold 1,455,746 examples, including 1,330,755 manufactured at the manufacturer's Paris Quai de Javel (now Quai André-Citroën) production plant.
CITROEN AMI 6
The Citroën Ami had its formal French launch on 25 April 1961, four months ahead of the August introduction of the widely anticipated Renault 4. Both the Renault 4 and the Citroën Ami responded to a perceived market need for a vehicle slightly larger and less rustic than the 2CV. The Ami is a rebodied 2CV with certain mechanical upgrades (particularly a larger engine than the 1950s 2CV), to compensate for the added weight. At launch all the cars were powered by an air cooled 602 cc two-cylinder flat engine which would also be offered at extra cost in the 2CV from 1970.
The platform chassis and suspension is similar to the 2CV, being independent all round using leading and trailing arms and coil springs interconnected front to rear. For a detailed suspension description see Citroën 2CV.
The Ami's seats were easily removable. Sales pitches of the Ami included photographs of the seats being used as picnic chairs.
One novel model was the 2CV Sahara, a four-wheel drive (4×4) car, equipped with two engines (12 hp (9 kW) each), each one having a separate fuel tank. One was mounted in the front driving the front wheels and one in the back driving the rear wheels. A single gearstick, clutch pedal and accelerator were connected to both engines. It was originally intended for use by the French colonies in Northern Africa. As well as a decreased chance of being stranded, it provided four-wheel-drive traction with continuous drive to some wheels while others were slipping because the engine transmissions were uncoupled. Therefore, it became popular with off-road enthusiasts. Between 1958 and 1971, Citroën built 694 Saharas. The top speed was 65 km/h (40 mph) on one engine, and 105 km/h (65 mph) with both engines running. These rare vehicles are highly collectible.
The Méhari was also built as a 4×4 from May 1979, but with only one engine and a reduction gear
1971 Citroen SM
In 1961, Citroën began work on 'Project S' – a sports variant of the Citroën DS. As was customary for the firm, many running concept vehicles were developed, increasingly complex and upmarket from the DS. At some stage in the 9-year project, it evolved from developing a faster variant of the 1955 DS to developing an entirely new, thoroughly engineered car – in terms of engineering effort, a replacement for the high volume DS model. Citroën purchased Maserati in 1968 with the intention of harnessing Maserati's high-performance engine technology to produce a true Gran Turismo car, combining the sophisticated Citroën suspension with a Maserati V6.
The result was the Citroën SM, first shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1970. It went on sale in France in September of that year. Factory produced cars were all left-hand-drive, although RHD conversions were done in the UK and Australia.
This car was unusual for France – production of luxury cars was heavily restricted in the country by post-World War II puissance fiscale horsepower tax, so France had not had a production vehicle in this market sector since before World War II. The SM had an engine of only 2.7 liters owing to these regulations; it was the first response to the luxury/performance sector since the export oriented Chrysler V8 engine Facel Vega in the late 1950s. Citroën's flagship vehicle competed with high-performance GTs of the time from other nations and manufacturers, such as Jaguar, Lotus, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche.
The origin of the model name 'SM' is not completely clear. The 'S' may derive from the Project 'S' designation, the aim of which was to produce what is essentially a sports variant of the Citroën DS, and the 'M' perhaps refers to Maserati, hence SM is often assumed to stand for "Systeme Maserati" or "Sports Maserati". Another common alternative is Série Maserati, but others have suggested it is short for 'Sa Majesté' (Her Majesty in French), which aligns with the common DS model's nickname 'La déesse' (The Goddess).
The SM did not find a sufficient customer base in the small European GT market, but much of the SM's technology was carried forward to the successful Citroën CX, launched in 1974 the DIRAVI steering being the most obvious example. The same basic engine in enlarged 3.0 L form (some in Italy had 2.0 L) was used in Maserati's own Merak (1,800 units) and later with some modification in the Biturbo (40,000 units). The Merak, Khamsin, and Bora, used Citroën's high-pressure hydraulics for some functions, and the Citroën gearbox in the Merak, during the Citroën-Maserati alliance